North Lawndale


With Chicago's tallest building being renamed Willis Tower in 2009 (but really, who calls it that?), North Lawndale is again home to the only Sears Tower in the city. This 15-story Sears Tower was built in 1906 and was part part of a larger office building that was used by Sears as their retail headquarters and distribution center. Business was booming by the 1940s, and the Sears "complex had become a city within itself." Included on the 41-acre grounds were a company fire department, a power station that generated power for all facilities, a testing lab for new products, a newspaper publicity office, and an employee-only Sears Bank, among other things. After almost seven decades in North Lawndale, Sears moved most of their offices to the "new" Sears Tower in downtown Chicago in 1974, and four years later the original Sears Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places.